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Department of Archaeology



I am an archaeologist from Nigeria with a focus on the archaeology of Yorubaland Nigeria, West Africa. I earned my BSc and MSc in Archaeology from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 2010 and 2014 respectively. This was followed by a PhD in Archaeology at the Sainsbury Research Unit, University of East Anglia, UK (2023). My research focuses on the deep time settlement history and the socio-political development of the Ilorin area, a historically-significant city in north-central Nigeria prior to the 19th century through material culture, mainly archaeological ceramics.

I have received a few grants and awards, some of which include the Sainsbury Research Unit PhD Grant (2019-2022) and the World Archaeological Congress (WAC) conference grant, Kyoto Japan 2016. 

I am currently a Research fellow in Black Heritage or Identity at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, and by extension, a Postdoctoral Associate at the Jesus College, University of Cambridge.


My work focuses on using multifaceted approaches of archaeology, ethno-history and material culture, particularly archaeological ceramics to understand settlement socio-political development, social complexities and technology. Additionally my research employs social theories to gain insights into the deep time settlement history and material culture of the Ilorin area of Nigeria West Africa prior to the 19th century, with specific emphasis on ceramic analysis.  

The McDonald Institute Fellowship will allow me to build on my research by utilising scientific methods of archaeological ceramic analysis to enhance our understanding of settlement histories and craft production techniques in West African archaeology. My other areas of interest include public/community engagement, archaeological heritage, African art History, and Archaeology of Indigenous/local knowledge systems.

Key Publications

Key publications: 

2022 Owoseni B. J. & Haour. A. Survey and Excavations in Ilorin, Nigeria: A First Archaeological Insight. NYAME AKUMA, Rice University Texas University, Texas, Vol 97, 1. pp. 36-42.

2022 Nomishan, T. S., Gubam, D. S., & Owoseni B. J. The Essentiality of Early Urbanism in Understanding African Prehistory: A Focus on West Africa. Sapientia Global Journal of Arts, Humanities and Development Studies (SGOJAHDS), Enugu State University of Science and Technology,Agbani, Enugu, Nigeria, Vol 5, 1. Pp 113-122.

2018 Owoseni B. J. A Preliminary Report of Community Archaeology outreach Experience at the College of Education Archaeological site. Ilorin Journal ofHistory and International Studies, University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Vol 8, No 1. pp 187-201.

2018 Owoseni B.J. An examination of Students’ perception of Archaeology Education in Nigerian Universities: Challenges and Recommendations. Kaduna Journal of Humanities, Kaduna State University, Kaduna, Nigeria, Volume 2 (1), pp 333-347.

Other Professional Activities

  • Member, Archaeology Association of Nigeria, (AAN).
  • Member, West African Archaeological Association (WAAA).
  • Member, Society of Africanist Archaeologists (S.A.F.A).
  • Member, World Archaeology Congress (W.A.C)

Job Titles

Research Fellow in Black Heritage or Identity, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

General Info

Available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Material Culture
Socio-Politics of the Past
Built Environment
Artefact Analysis & Technology

Contact Details

McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Downing Street


Person keywords: 
Material Culture
Ceramic analysis
Environment, Landscapes and Settlement
Material Culture
Geographical areas: 
Periods of interest: 
Other Historical
Other Prehistory